Video evidence captured by a bystander contradicts police accounts of the fatal shooting of an Arizona car thief. While local police reported that the man was reaching into his car for a gun during the chase, the video shows the man with his hands up and his back turned.
Police chased Manuel Orosco Longoria, 40, for 40 minutes last Tuesday before the suspect got out of the stolen Toyota Corolla, according to Arizona Central. The officers used beanbag and Taser guns to subdue Longoria, who reportedly yelled that he “wouldn’t be taken alive.”
“A deputy felt the suspect was reaching for the gun he reportedly had,” said Eloy Sheriff Paul Babeu. “So he then fired two rounds from his department-issued patrol rifle.”
“Numerous times law enforcement officers gave verbal commands to surrender and show them his hands, the suspect’s hands,” he said further. “Less lethal force was used at that time, bean bags were used to try to get the suspect to surrender, a Taser was even deployed, every means necessary including verbal commands.”
But in a cell phone video shot by a witness and obtained by CBS 5, Longoria appears to begin complying with the officers’ orders right before he is shot. The deputies have their weapons drawn and have already struck Longoria with the Taser and beanbags. Longoria appears to be moving his arms around, but then he raises them over his head and turns his back to the officers. That’s when he is shot and killed.
Babeu told the station that he had watched the video several times but did not believe the officers had acted wrongly.
"This suspect sadly and regrettably when given every opportunity to surrender and to comply and obey our commands, decided not to," said Babeu.
Former Scottsdale Police Officer Jess Torrez didn’t think the shooting was justified, however, after seeing the footage.
"You have multiple police officers on the scene and only one person makes the shot. That tells me that other officers at the scene did not feel there was justification to use deadly physical force," said Torrez.
“Officers are taught to look at the hands first and foremost. So if his hands are up in the air, he doesn't have anything in them. How do they justify using deadly force?" he said.